Playgroup NSW CEO Shares 7 Tips for Helping Your Child’s Development By Playing With Building Blocks

Kinderling Kids Radio

Tue 04-Oct-16

Categories: Learning through Play

In a series of interviews that Playgroup NSW CEO Karen Bevan has been doing with Kinderling Radio, she provides some tips for play that involve building with blocks and imagination.

In a series of interviews that Playgroup NSW CEO Karen Bevan has been doing with Kinderling Radio, she provides some tips for play that involve building with blocks and imagination.

“Building things and knocking them down” is what experts call “constructive play” and is the type of play where children use wooden blocks, DUPLO® or sand to build something of their own.

Karen explains, “[you] don’t need to wait until kids are old enough to click LEGO’s DUPLO® together, therefore you can introduce your kids to building play as soon as they are ready to sit up.”

Construction play is much more than just putting a bunch of blocks in front of your child. This type of play “ignites a child’s imagination,” says Karen, “and creates opportunities for parents, carers and kids to have conversations and to build their relationship.”

Karen has seven great tips for encouraging your little builders:

1.       Fancy toys are not always the eye catchers

Parents want their children to have the best quality toys, but the children won’t always agree on this. At first they might be more drawn towards kitchen items, like: plastic containers or saucepans, or even toilet paper rolls.

Let them go for it if they want to create a toilet roll tower. Children create their own meaning as they go along.

2.       Let their imagination ignite

“Kids might pick up a block, put another block under it and push it along, and now we’ve got a car,” explains Karen. DUPLO® or wooden blocks are great toys to engage your child’s fine and gross motor skills - they stack them and put them together using their imagination.

After the age of 3 years old, children tend to join imaginative forces with one another; this is how they learn to play together.

3.       Build language

Karen encourages you to build children’s experience around language by naming shapes and colours. For example, “I used a triangle; I used an orange block.”

4.       Help them identify patterns

Children will start to understand and identify patterns. You can notice this when your child begins to put all square blocks on top of each other, or they will naturally want to put the lid on a container.

You can encourage the child by mentioning these patterns to them when they recognise that certain things connect to each other. Karen points out that this is actually a codification skill, or in other words - kids are starting to think mathematically

5.       Ask open questions

Open questions help children connect and engage more with their toys and with each other. Some examples of open questions you can ask your child are: “How many of the orange blocks can you find and put together? And what do you think you might make with them?”

You can also ask your child to explain what they’ve built, this will help develop their thinking skills.

6.       Reinforce

It’s important to remind your child that they have done a great job and encourage them to continue. You can do this by asking questions like: “How are we going to put that together?”

7.       Relax and be present

Remember: “If you’re having fun, they’ll be having fun,” says Karen. The important tip here is to get over the tendency to take over your child’s project. Building play is about doing it together, not perfectly.

Content provided by:

 

Featured Story

Click here to find out More + Start a playgroup

Why start a playgroup?

  • You would like to transition a mother’s group or new parent’s group to a playgroup

If your local mother’s or new parent’s group is interested in continuing to meet as your children get older, forming a playgroup is a great option.

Often parents will find it difficult to continue to meet at cafes or in similar environments once children are older and more active. Playgroup provides a dedicated space for children to play, allowing parents to continue to connect.

  • There is no local playgroup

If you don’t have a playgroup close to home, why not consider starting one? Not only is this more convenient for local parents, it also helps bring communities together.

  • You would like to focus on a language, culture or particular interest

Playgroup NSW provides a range of special interest playgroups including culturally specific playgroups, grandparent’s playgroups, LGBTI playgroups and disability-focused playgroups. If you’re looking for a playgroup with a special interest or focus, we can help you start one.

Interested in starting a playgroup? Playgroup NSW can help you get started.

There are 10 steps involved in starting a playgroup:

  1. Find interested families
  2. Identify the playgroup’s purpose
  3. Select a day of the week and time
  4. Choose an appropriate location
  5. Identify play activities
  6. Select toys and equipment
  7. Establish policies and guidelines
  8. Join Playgroup NSW
  9. Identify costs
  10. Get started!

To read more about each of these steps, read our guide on How to Start a Playgroup.

Playgroup NSW are here to help you at all stages of the process

Playgroup NSW offers a membership package with insurance coverage designed specifically for playgroups.

Contact us if you:

  • Want to start a playgroup
  • Want to affiliate an existing playgroup with Playgroup NSW
  • Already run a playgroup that has adequate insurance coverage and would like to access some of the services provided by Playgroup NSW

Play Activities

Click here to find out More + Featured Activities

Bubbles can provide hours of fun and fascination for your baby. If they are too young to blow the bubbles themselves, they will enjoy watching the bubbles float and burst.

Latest News

View all news articles + Featured Activities

News Release: Playgroup NSW announces arrival of major initiative for families with babies

Read article +

Looking for a Playgroup?

Find PlaygroupSearch Now!

Supported By